Kurt Wimmer L’85 Discusses Privacy, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity
By 3L John Mercurio
On Oct. 6, 2020, Kurt Wimmer L’85, Chair of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group (US) at Covington & Burling LLP, visited with students from Professor Lauryn Gouldin’s Privacy Law, Professor Keli Perrin’s Cybersecurity Law and Policy, and Professor Patrick Rao’s Corporate Compliance Law classes.
Wimmer covered a wide variety of privacy law topics, including the development of privacy law in countries around the world; the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) within and outside of the European Union; and emerging changes and proposals regarding privacy law in the United States.
Wimmer explained that the GDPR has played a major role in guiding the development of privacy and data protection law around globe, but countries are also cognizant of the need to tailor privacy laws to their own needs. He highlighted India as an example of a country currently designing its own system of privacy and data protection laws, and he suggested that their initiative may motivate other countries to follow suit.
In the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has carved out its own role in privacy law and data protection matters by utilizing its ability to punish deceptive acts or practices, explained Wimmer. However, he clarified that the FTC lacks rule-making authority in this arena and that some individuals within the privacy law sector support the creation of an agency directly responsible for data protection in the US.
Wimmer’s extensive knowledge of data protection and cybersecurity law provided students an essential glimpse into the life of a privacy law attorney. He provided invaluable advice for those interested in pursuing legal careers focused on this growing area of the law.